OTML obtains shovel after 30 years

Business, Normal

The National, Thursday, May 26th 2011

AFTER 30 years of operations, Ok Tedi Mining Ltd (OTML) acquired a new hydraulic shovel known as the Bucyrus RH200 at a cost of S$10 million (K24 million) which was commissioned on Saturday.
In a statement yesterday, OTML said it was the first hydraulic shovel it owned since the mine started operation 30 years ago.
The company previously owned and operated a fleet of electric shovels but since decommissioning them a few years ago, OTML has been contracting Star West Ltd, a part locally-owned contractor company, to supply and operate hydraulic shovels.
OTML’s purchase of the new hydraulic shovel also signified OTML’s owning and operating most of the heavy mobile equipment in preparation for mine life extension.
OTML mine executive manager Alan Merritt, while commissioning the new shovel, said the shovel could transport 2,200 tonnes of ore an hour.
He said OTML was expected to experience less downtimes with the new shovel now operating.
“It’s a big day for us at the OTML as we take delivery of our first hydraulic shovel.
“The shovel will help boost production, initially the production of limestone for the river system,” Merritt said. 
Bucyrus project manager Russell Jenkinson, who was at the mine supervising the assembly of the shovel over the past seven weeks, said the Bucyrus RH200 shovel was popular with other mining projects in PNG such as Newcrest Lihir Gold and the Porgera Joint Venture project.
OTML last year produced 159,821 tonnes containing copper, 15,131kg of contained gold and 45, 774kg of contained silver.
OTML’s export earnings last year was K 4.741 billion, which represented 18% of the PNG’s gross domestic product.
In February, OTML became a company owned fully by PNG interests.
This followed the exit of Toronto (Canada) listed company, Inmet Mining Corporation, as a shareholder.
Inmet Mining’s 18% share, which it held since 2002, was bought by OTML for US$335 million and cancelled, leaving OTML as a company owned today by PNG Sustainable Development Program Ltd with 63.4% and the state with 36.6%.